Myth: Everyone Fast Forwards

December 29th, 2016

In an age of “me,” people have increasingly more options to satisfy their “I need it now” or “I want it now” mentalities. This is especially true when they watch TV. Viewing platforms are changing by the minute, and consumers now have more device and platform choices when it comes to how and when they view their favorite programs.

But are people really trying to avoid ads? Even with increasingly longer commercial breaks and a greater disruption of viewing experiences, millions of people continue to watch live television.

According to a recent Nielsen study (May 2016), live television viewing remains the preferred method to watch favorite programming. Breakouts by generation show live television viewing with non-skippable commercial breaks is still 2 to 3 times higher than time-shift TV, where you can fast forward through the commercials.

  • Millennials spend an average of 95 hours a month watching television and only 18 hours of this is time-shifted.
  • Gen Xers spend an average of 132 hours a month watching television and only 25 hours of this is time-shifted.
  • Baby Boomers spend an average of 184 hours a month watching television and only 28 hours of this is time-shifted.

What about Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast? While these devices are growing in popularity as a way to watch programs with limited or commercial free breaks, these devices are still only in about 20 percent of all TV households. Or, in other words, only 10 to 30 percent of the viewers’ TV time.


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